Are you new to coffee beans? Or are you simply wondering what difference the type of bean can make to your favorite drink? We all know about the different bodies, aromas, flavors and roasts coffee can have, but did you know that the type of bean used can produce a vastly different brew? In this guide, we share more with you on the common types of coffee beans.
Arabica is by far the most popular yet most expensive type of coffee bean. One reason for this is that Arabica trees are particularly susceptible to diseases and special care is needed to keep them thriving. Arabica beans get their name from the region in which they were initially popular as the drink of choice. These trees are native to Ethiopia and the resulting beans have the highest acidity and lightest taste of any type of coffee bean. They also produce a wonderful aroma that is sure to get you out of bed!
There are numerous Arabica coffee varieties as well, such as Catuai, Bourbon, Typica, Catimor and many more. Catuai plants are small and coffee brewed with the resulting beans are considered to have good cup quality. It can withstand harsh weather conditions, which makes it a high-yielding variety of coffee beans. On the other hand, Bourbon plants produce a low yield compared to other coffee varieties, but the tradeoff is an excellent cup quality.
The distinguishing feature of Liberica coffee beans has to be their shape. Larger than any other type of coffee bean, the trees can grow up to 30 feet! In addition to that, no two beans are the same shape. Fun fact: did you know that a pure Liberica tree is hard to find and many trees that exist today are hybrids? Liberica trees almost went extinct twice – grown in the Philippines, which was once a colony, the remaining trees were abandoned after the nation gained independence. Coffee brewed from Liberica beans is full-bodied besides boasting a floral and fruity flavor.
Although Excelsa can be considered a category of Liberica coffee beans, the coffee it produces has such a distinct flavor that some people consider it to be in a class of its own. Excelsa coffee beans are almond shaped and is one of the rarest types of coffee bean in use today. Coffee brewed with Excelsa beans have a tart and fruity taste, however, their dark and strong flavor can take some getting used to.
As implied by its name, Robusta coffee beans are, well, robust. Because of their ability to withstand diseases and ward off pests, these trees that are native to sub-Saharan Africa can thrive in a multitude of climates. Robusta coffee beans are smaller than Arabica coffee beans and are found in many espresso blends and instant coffees. Featuring a smooth and chocolatey taste, its flavor tends to be harsher and stronger than that of Arabica, which is why the resulting brew is often drunk with milk, sugar and cream.